The Week's Features
Tow Expo Dallas' winning trucks are highlighted
Towman Scott Shover is being called "a guardian angel"
Redi-Letters' lighted signs easily mount on wreckers
Suspending auto repos of clients impacted by Hurricane Harvey
Or, do government controls actually work?
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American Towman Magazine Presents the Week in TowingSeptember 20 - September 26, 2017
A repo agent in Maryland was hooked to a Lexus in a strip mall parking lot for five hours before the driver exited the vehicle with her personal belongings. image.

Repo Standoff Takes Five Hours

SIA Towing of Lanham, Maryland, attempted to repossess a vehicle in the parking lot of a strip mall when an unidentified driver requested to get "some personal items" out of the vehicle.

However, once in the vehicle, the driver refused to exit, setting off a five-hour standoff between the agent and the motorist. The agent contacted law enforcement, and they responded to the scene. Police advised the issue was a civil matter since no crimes were committed.

While deputies were on the scene the agent attempted to hook up the front tires, and the driver turned on the car and moved the front wheels, potentially endangering the agent. Police informed the Lexus driver she was not allowed to endanger him or damage his equipment.

Deputies left the scene and advised to call back if there was a crime committed.

"I have a full tank of gas and air conditioning, I can be here all weekend," the Lexus driver allegedly said.

Later in the evening, the agent observed the Lexus driver exit the car while another unidentified individual entered and remained in the Lexus. The agent once again requested law enforcement, and sheriff's deputies responded to the location who explained to the uncooperative Lexus driver, that she was receiving an additional fee at approximately $100 per hour of the stand off and the repossession paperwork was correct.

Deputies also requested the standoff to end, as it was impeding traffic flow in the parking lot.

After approximately five hours, the Lexus driver decided to exit the vehicle with her belongings. The agent completed the repossession and left the scene with the Lexus.


Sheffield Financial [b]Halting Repo Orders

More than half a million vehicles in the Houston area are estimated to be a total loss in the wake of flooding damage caused by Hurricane Harvey.

Sheffield Financial is "actively working" to support its clients and others in the affected area, according to a statement released to Powersports Finance.

Parent company BB&T Bank is waiving ATM fees for non-clients using the bank's ATMs in the disaster counties; waiving fees for Texas clients using ATM and debit cards at other bank's ATMS; and activating its disaster loan policy.

The bank is halting existing and new auto and recreational vehicle repossession orders in the emergency declaration counties, in addition to its usual compliance with the Servicemember's Civil Relief Act for clients called to active-duty and complying with each state's insurance department disaster declaration requirements.


RABF to Manage [b]Hurricane Relief Funds

The Recovery Agents Benefit Fund has been asked to accept donations for those who may be affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

Last month in Dallas, Texas, at the North American Repossessors Summit, $30,700 was raised for the Recovery Agents Benefit Fund through donations and a live auction. The RABF will start this Hurricane relief fundraising effort by earmarking those funds specifically for those affected by the hurricanes.

One repossessor in Beaumont, Texas, lost his home; other Texas repossession agency owners report that their employees have sustained personal losses as well.

As clients to continue to cease repossession activities in affected areas, many repossession agents will struggle in meeting day-to-day expenses as income comes to an abrupt halt.

Through the end of September (maybe longer depending on the needs of Harvey, Irma and what happens with Jose and more on the horizon), every donation received by the Recovery Agents Benefit Fund will be earmarked for Hurricane relief efforts.

If you'd like to make a donation, go to

If you are a repossessor affected by the hurricanes and need assistance, you can reach out to the fund by emailing

Source: RABF.

New Santander Consumer CEO

Scott Powell will take on the role of president/CEO at Santander Consumer USA, succeeding Jason Kulas who resigned late last month. Powell will continue to serve as CEO of Santander Holdings USA and as Santander Group's U.S. head.

Prior to joining Santander, Powell held a variety of senior roles at JPMorgan Chase & Co., including head of banking and consumer lending operations, CEO of consumer banking and retail investments, head of retail lending, head of Chase Auto Finance, and chief risk officer, consumer. He also spent 14 years at Citigroup and its predecessors in a variety of senior risk management roles.

"Scott's depth of experience makes him the right person to continue SC's evolution and to sustain its long-term performance," Santander Chairman Bill Rainer said.

"I look forward to leading the Santander Consumer team," Powell said. "My focus will be on strengthening the company's financial and operational performance, delivering returns for all shareholders, improving risk management and putting our customers at the center of everything we do."


Santander Undertakes [b]Hurricane Initiatives

Banco Santander reported that the firm and its businesses have implemented proactive measures to help clients impacted by Hurricane Harvey.

Santander US's auto finance unit, Santander Consumer USA Holdings Inc has suspended automotive repossession and loan collection activities, and is providing temporary loan help to customers in the form of suspended late fees and loan modifications.

Santander Bank is also providing immediate assistance to its small business, retail and commercial clients to comprise temporarily-suspended late fees, temporarily-reduced interest rates, the suspension of collection calls, auto repossessions and loan modifications.

Scott Powell, CEO and President of Santander US, added that as the recovery process starts, they will work with clients whose lives have been disturbed, as well as those who require alternate payment arrangements.


CORP Cautions on Locksmiths

The Council of Repossession Professionals recently cautioned repo agencies about the potential pitfalls of using a locksmith company that might be mandated by a particular finance company client—but could utilize employees who may not be aware or comply with specific state regulations.

CORP explained on its site that many states have explicit regulations when it comes to locksmiths, indicating that some jurisdictions prohibit contracting work to local locksmiths who might not be employed by a national company.

"Some states even demand that these national locksmith companies have an actual physical business in the state they are doing the service in," said CORP officials.

CORP suggested that repossession agencies ask and seek the answers to three simple questions with regard to the cutting of new keys for repossessed vehicles:
1) Do locksmiths have to have a license to operate?
2) What type of insurance does the state require them to have?
3) Does the state require all businesses to carry worker's compensation?

"Once you have this information, now you have a chance," CORP said.

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